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Game Preview: Dodgers, Astros Set For Game 2 of World Series Rematch

Dodgers
Mar 31, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda (18) throws a pitch against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sport

Houston Astros at Los Angeles Dodgers

Time: 6:10 PM PT

Venue: Dodger Stadium

Houston Record: 70-41

Los Angeles Record: 61-50

How are the Dodgers Doing?

For the second night in a row, Joc Pederson put the Dodgers on the board early with a leadoff home run. Unfortunately, that summed up the scoring for Los Angeles, as they fell to the Astros, 2-1. The Dodgers were simply overmatched by Justin Verlander, who racked up 14 strikeouts on Friday.

Why is this Game Important?

Once again the Dodgers find themselves fighting to stay atop the NL West. After losing the series opener to Houston, the Dodgers are tied for first place with the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks are playing at home against the Giants this weekend.

Pitching Matchup

Kenta Maeda (7-6, 3.48 ERA) vs Lance McCullers Jr. (10-6, 4.06 ERA)

Kenta Maeda threw exclusively out of the bullpen last postseason, so the Astros only saw him as a reliever in the World Series. Back in his starting role, Maeda has struck out 119 batters in 98.1 innings this year. He has allowed four runs in each of his last two starts since the All-Star break.

After seeing Verlander to open the series, the Dodgers will see another pitcher with an All-Star selection under his belt. In fact, each of the five starting pitchers for Houston was selected to the midsummer classic in either 2017 or 2018. With Lance McCullers Jr. on the mound, the Dodgers will face a pitcher who has lost his last three starts. McCullers recorded 11 strikeouts without drawing a walk in his last start but walked 10 batters over his previous two outings.

Matchup of the Day

Yasiel Puig vs. Lance McCullers Jr.

Yasiel Puig drove in the only RBI against McCullers in the World Series. Against the Astros’ pitcher in the regular season, Puig is 2-3. His two regular season hits against McCullers are more than any other player on the Dodgers roster.

Despite getting the day off in the series opener, Puig has reached base in his last eight games. During that span, he is batting .400 with five home runs and 12 RBI.

Vegas Odds

Odds Sharks

Dodgers: -118

Astros: +108

FiveThirtyEight

Dodgers: 52% chance of winning

Astros: 48% chance of winning

Fun Fact

The Astros had the first pick in the draft in 2012 (Carlos Correa), 2013 (Mark Appel) and 2014 (Brady Aiken), but Correa is the only player still in the Houston organization.

Written by Arthur Cribbs

Arthur Cribbs is a journalism student at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He is a lifelong Dodgers fan and when he is not at school, he resides in Los Angeles.

3 Comments

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  1. With Kemp struggling and Puig hot, of course Roberts does another bonehead move and plays Kemp. What this team needs most is another manager. Roberts might be a nice guy but a good manager he is not. His managerial skills or lack of has lost more games than won. He plays his favorites instead of his best players.

  2. Two brilliant pitching performances – by Alex last night and Walker in the Brewers series – wasted this week, because the Dodgers can’t hit good pitching. So many close games lost this year. If we don’t make the postseason, this is the reason.

    21 runs in Thursday game proves nothing – it’s only one win.

    • Well , perhaps we are the only people to see how they struggle against good pitching. Roberts benched Dozier and Puig for the first game and they were the hottest hitters. Roberts will manage them to lose again this year unless he wises up

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